Ideal culture in context to the workplace refers to the set of norms, concepts, values, ethics, etc which are the most desirable. Simply put, ideal culture in the workplace refers to the most desirable environment in the workplace which increases overall wellbeing. In an ideal work culture, employees are seen to be much happier, satisfied, loyal, and productive. Therefore, creating an ideal work environment is starting to become a priority for many organizations.
The culture of a workplace is the representation of the character of any organization or even a small company. The culture of any workplace includes all the values, ethics, morals, attitudes, work practices, goals, and plans. All these aspects are key to reaching the goals of any organization.
When organizations aim for a more effective and productive workplace, positive culture is the best way to go. Since all the organizations differ from each other, the types of cultures vary accordingly.
However, according to Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn from the University of Michigan, there are four common styles when it comes to organizational culture.
Clan Culture: Clan culture has a focus on the inside of the organization. These can be found in family-run businesses as well as fresh startups. There is communication, interpersonal relationships are formed and the workplace feels like family.
Adhocracy Culture: This culture is commonly found in tech companies. There is a neediness to take risks, come with innovative ideas, and if an idea fails, they quickly learn from it. The workplace culture in advocacy culture runs on adrenaline.
Market Culture: This is a culture found common in organizations that are focused on results and success. When the leaders in an organization are highly ambitious, the culture seems to be driven by deadlines and targets. This is outward-focused work culture.
Hierarchy Culture: In this type of organizational culture, there is a chain of command and everyone has a fixed rightful place in which they operate. There are lots of formalities in this workplace culture. There is clarity of roles and responsibilities in this culture, however, sometimes it the workplace may turn more rigid as well,
Even though the culture in each organization is different, over the past years, the general styles of organizational cultures have evolved quite drastically. There are changes in office layouts, attitudes of people in managerial positions, company-to-employee relationships, and much more. Here are a few changes which can be noticed in recent years in terms of work culture.
Workplace Culture before:
The general style of organizational culture was hierarchical.
The main priority of the organization was to achieve goals and was focused more outwardly.
Offices were cornered and the layout was not as open as we see it today.
The needs and wants of the employees were not considered a priority.
Professional skill development programs for the employees were less common.
The workplace was considered boring and monotonous.
Workplace Culture Now:
Today, it is believed that by turning inward and prioritizing the office and its employees, the company can yield more productive benefits.
Formalities are competitively reduced, many offices have an open floor plan and overall wellbeing and motivation inside the company are maintained.
Companies are also required to give back as Corporate Social Responsibility is a must and an effort is made to create a positive workplace culture.
Professional skill development programs for employees are more common.
Companies have the vision to achieve more than money and to make a greater social impact.
An effort is made to make the workplace both fun and work stimulating.
Ideal workplace culture is simply the ideal work environment that is required for the employees and everyone in the workplace to work happily while feeling more motivated and productive. Here are a few tips to create that ideal work environment.
1. Security/ Feeling safe
According to the author and speaker Simon Sinek, great leaders make you feel safe. And one of the most crucial elements in having a solid team is the feeling of safety which will bring them into a circle of trust.
There needs to be a feeling of steady success and job security within the workplace. When the track record of a company is solid, it indicates that it has a good work environment.
Employees must be provided with recognition and reward when there is a boost in performance. The employees will feel motivated and encouraged when recognized for their effort whereas if the hard work of an employee in the workplace goes unnoticed and ignored, the motivation to perform better decreases resulting in the potential loss for the company. The employees also may feel disrespected and undervalued. Employees are more likely to stay and work in the company if they receive perks and benefits as a return for their efforts and time.
3. Support from the managing team
The support and leadership from the manager are very important in the overall functioning of the workplace. When the managerial team is supportive and understanding, employees can open up about their issues and count on someone when they are dealing with stressful situations. There is a feeling of safety and guidance in the workplace. This is essential to locate and solve problems in the workplace.
4. Leadership focused on growth, development, and holistic wellbeing
It is essential that the leaders in any company are concerned about growth, development as well as the holistic wellbeing of the company. This includes not the culture that is only driven by profit and target but also the inner wellbeing of the workplace. The growth of the employees and the inner culture should be no less of a priority than making profits and yielding profits. A company with a vision to serve receives greater support compared to one which brings profit to sole top leaders. Employees are more likely to give their time and effort to the company if they feel like it will be beneficial to their career growth.
5. Work and play; make the workplace fun!
It is essential to have a workplace culture where the employees can have fun times too. This will increase the fondness towards the workplace, build a feeling of closeness and comfort, make the workplace feel like a safe place where the employees can express themselves and more. No human can be productive every second of the work hours. Organizing fun activities, celebrating special occasions for the employees and occasional celebrations in the workplace help the employees to feel more refreshed and energized while boosting motivation to give back to the company.
6. Trust, empathy, communication, and transparency
There needs to be a high level of trust, empathy, communication, and transparency to become a part of any team and give 100% to it. These factors are really important in ideal workplace culture. If the employees cannot trust the motives and team leaders, are unable to communicate freely, do not feel safe being vulnerable while discussing stressful situations and if the operations of the company are not transparent and the employees are kept in the dark, there is no possibility of the employees building love and dedication towards the company and giving their best to help achieve the vision of the company.
7. The workplace layout
Here are a few tips to create an ideal workplace layout:
Make the space flexible so that you can make a few changes when it's necessary.
Create communal spaces like kitchen, lounge areas, coffee stations, etc to provide the employees with a breakout space inside the office.
Install plenty of outlets. Laptops, computers, and other electronic devices are a must today.
Provide employees with storage space for their belongings.
Keep the general layout open and airy. However, make sure to install a few private spaces for meetings and official purposes.
Toilets must be clean and fresh at all times. Hygiene MUST NOT be overlooked in a workplace.
The layout and decorations in the workplace should be job stimulating and refreshing. You can install indoor plants, work-related accessories, etc.
When a company offers skill development programs to its employees, it helps both the company and its employees. When offered such programs, employees feel happy as they are being allowed to grow and develop which benefits their career. Meanwhile, the company gains a more skilled and capable workforce which boosts productivity in the workplace making it easier to achieve targeted goals.
9. A work/life balance
Expecting and pressuring the workforce to prioritize work over everything and disregard in terms of their personal life is highly discouraging workplace culture. The employees must be encouraged to maintain a healthy work/life balance by the company. The company should also show support in times of stressful situations establishing a happy and positive workplace culture.
10. Offering a shared vision
Having a shared vision by the entire workforce boosts teamwork, input, and productivity in the workplace. When there is a shared vision, values, and morals, employees will work their hardest as they make themselves a part of the company. This is essential to build a loyal, happy, and hard-working team in a workplace.
There is an increase in employee engagement in an ideal workplace.
Increase in employee retention rate since there won’t be a need to look for a better workplace.
Employees are more happy, motivated, and express overall satisfaction.
Employees get the chance to grow and develop themselves professionally.
The organization will have a team of loyal and hardworking workforce.
Achieving goals will be much easier since all the employees will try their best to achieve the shared vision.
There is a feeling of trust when there is clear communication and transparency which develops a feeling of respect for the organization.
The office will feel like family. Employees will help the company grow and prosper.
Employees feel safe and secure to discuss problems. This will help the managerial team to improve and help their employees.
The workplace will be a place where you can feel refreshed and energized instead of feeling bored and drained.
In today's world, failing to provide employees with an ideal work culture is highly damaging to any company. The needs of all the employees must be heard and understood. The leaders and managers must prioritize the inner wellbeing of the organization.
The main thing to do here is aligning the goals and vision of the company with the ideal workplace culture which will help you achieve them. The focus of the core leaders should be both inwards and outwards.